Wars of Compassion is about as minimalist a site as it is possible to find. J. Ryan is the writer, though little more is known than an email address; there’s no about page, and the only additional content on the site includes the archives, dating back to the start of June, a message board, and a few choice external links.
Okay, so I’ve covered what there isn’t (design, extrablog content), so now for a closer look at what there is, and why Wars is worth visiting.
The entries mostly require your undivided attention; there are no one-line updates promising more updates soon; links to external sites are given but only in the context of longer passages and never as the reason for a post.
Mr Ryan is a spiritual man; he writes about God and religion and its place in modern society, discussing subjects like chastity and obedience. His style of writing is simple, clear and intelligent.
He covers other topics too, writing about music and relating personal tales. For example, read his entry at the start of August about Philadelphia – this entry perhaps more than most will give you a good understanding of the site. The narrator is not shy about talking about his private life, including areas that most blog authors are reluctant to cover. Whether or not you want such insights and access into the life of an anonymous other is something you would have to decide for yourself.
With a tighter design, Wars could really do well. It needs an image to bring the text and pictures together, to present the blog as something more than poorly photocopied musings. Haphazardly placed elements spoil the flow of the posts; with a little more thought (and really, these days there’s no excuse, with the number of high quality templates available) the site could really broadcast its content and make a welcoming read. As it stands, it feels half-finished, though certainly readable and at all times interesting.